The cover of The Art Forger is filled with encomia such as that it’s “a clever, twisty novel about art, authenticity, love, and betrayal” and “a provocative meditation on what we value most,” that it “will . . . leave you with a new appreciation of how paintings are made, evaluated, and understood — not to mention how they’re copied” and even that it’s “great for book discussion groups.”
All of which might tend to obscure the fact that what it really is is a topnotch thriller that had me gripped from start to finish.
Moreover, it’s a thriller that achieves its thrills without resort to fisticuffs and mayhem, or even much by the way of crime. Yes, an important part of the backstory is the (real life) heist in 1990 of thirteen artworks from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a crime that has never been solved, and the main story concerns an act of copying that might or might not be criminal; but what kept me turning the pages at feverish speed was Continue reading